All this week, Heartlight is asking folks to pray for their nation, to pray for free elections in the nations of the world — we have people from over 180 different nations in our online Heartlight family. We're asking you to pray for our hearts to be open to God's work among the nations, and to pray for God to exercise His sovereign will to do what is best for bringing people all over the world into His fold of grace! We will only be publishing Scripture text for our daily articles this week. We encourage you to use these messages from the Word of God to be your starting point for prayer.
Come back to the LORD and live! If you don't, he will roar through Israel like a fire, devouring you completely. Your gods in Bethel certainly won't be able to quench the flames! You wicked people! You twist justice, making it a bitter pill for the poor and oppressed. Righteousness and fair play are meaningless fictions to you.
It is the LORD who created the stars, the Pleiades and Orion. It is he who turns darkness into morning and day into night. It is he who draws up water from the oceans and pours it down as rain on the land. The LORD is his name! With blinding speed and power he destroys the strong, crushing all their defenses.
How you hate honest judges! How you despise people who tell the truth! You trample the poor and steal what little they have through taxes and unfair rent. Therefore, you will never live in the beautiful stone houses you are building. You will never drink wine from the lush vineyards you are planting. For I know the vast number of your sins and rebellions. You oppress good people by taking bribes and deprive the poor of justice in the courts. So those who are wise will keep quiet, for it is an evil time.
Therefore, this is what the Lord, the LORD God Almighty, says: "There will be crying in all the public squares and in every street. Call for the farmers to weep with you, and summon professional mourners to wail and lament. There will be wailing in every vineyard, for I will pass through and destroy them all. I, the LORD, have spoken!"
How terrible it will be for you who say, "If only the day of the LORD were here! For then the LORD would rescue us from all our enemies." But you have no idea what you are wishing for. That day will not bring light and prosperity, but darkness and disaster. In that day you will be like a man who runs from a lion — only to meet a bear. After escaping the bear, he leans his hand against a wall in his house — and is bitten by a snake. Yes, the day of the LORD will be a dark and hopeless day, without a ray of joy or hope.
"I hate all your show and pretense — the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies. I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings. I won't even notice all your choice peace offerings. Away with your hymns of praise! They are only noise to my ears. I will not listen to your music, no matter how lovely it is. Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, a river of righteous living that will never run dry." (Amos 5:6-24 NLT)